Everything to know about the near-total abortion ban in Alabama that everyone’s talking about today
Update, May 15th, 2019, 6:46 a.m. ET: On Tuesday, May 14th, the Alabama state Senate passed the draconian abortion bill detailed below. It now must merely be signed by the governor to become official state law.
Over the past few years, pro-life conservatives have gotten bolder in their attempts to challenge Roe v. Wade. Some of the most blatant efforts have been the “heartbeat” bills introduced in several states (which would ban the procedure at around the six week mark—before many women even know they’re pregnant). And now, Alabama lawmakers are pushing for an even more draconian abortion ban.
NBC News reports that on April 2nd, Alabama introduced legislation that would make it a felony for doctors to perform abortions at any point in a pregnancy—even in cases of rape or incest. The only exception to this would be if the patient’s life is in danger. The bill’s main sponsor, state Representative Terri Collins, did not mince words about her intentions. She told AL.com that the bill “criminalizes abortion” and explicitly said that she hopes to challenge Roe v. Wade.
"It simply criminalizes abortion," she told the news site. "It is meant to actually use some of the same language that is addressed in Roe vs. Wade. So hopefully it just completely takes it all the way to the Supreme Court eventually to overturn."
Staci Fox, president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, told the Associated Press that Collins’ bill was a “death sentence for women across this state.”
"These bans are blatantly unconstitutional and lawmakers know it—they just don’t care," Fox said. "Alabamians are just pawns in this political game to challenge access to safe, legal abortion nationally."
This is the most restrictive abortion bill to be proposed—and now passed—so far, which makes us even more concerned about the future of reproductive rights. If you live in Alabama and feel strongly about this bill, contact your elected officials to let them know. And if you live outside of Alabama but still feel strongly about this, consider donating to organizations like Planned Parenthood if you are able.